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Education

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Student loan repayment pause extended by White House amid legal battles over relief plan

WASHINGTON — The Department of Education announced on Tuesday it is extending the pandemic-era pause on federal student loan repayments until June 30 while legal challenges to the administration’s student debt relief program are fought over in the courts. The agency said if the student debt relief program has not been put in place by June 30, and if litigation is still tied up in the courts, student loan payments will begin 60 days after that.

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Chancellors discuss challenges of their roles as UNC Board of Governors eyes searches

As the UNC System’s Board of Governors mulls further changes to its chancellor search process, the board heard this week from some of the longest serving chancellors in the 17 campus system. During a day of committee meetings at East Carolina University, board members hosted a panel discussion with N.C. A&T University Chancellor Harold Martin, N.C. State University Chancellor Randy Woodson, Appalachian State Chancellor Sheri Everts and UNC Pembroke Chancellor Robin Cummings.

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In Martin County, a school board candidate felt the sting of weaponized conservative attacks

When Amy Swain decided to run for a seat on the nonpartisan school board she didn’t anticipate the conservative backlash both from outside and within Martin County. An education professor at East Carolina University with a long history of social activism, Swain was quickly and pejoratively tagged by conservative provocateurs as a promoter of “woke” culture who, if elected, would foist critical race theory upon the small, rural district’s nearly 3,000 students.

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Gov. Cooper’s new commission will study how the UNC System is governed, but change is unlikely

After years of conflict and controversy within the UNC System, a bipartisan commission will study its governance, but without the power to implement changes, it’s unclear what impact the commission’s work will have. On Tuesday Gov. Roy Cooper announced the Governor’s Commission on the Governance of Public Universities in North Carolina, created by executive order. It will be headed by former UNC System presidents Tom Ross and Margaret Spellings, a prominent Democrat and Republican, respectively.

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Report: Decline in teachers with traditional education degrees linked to growth in charter schools

As charter schools proliferate across America, there has been a corresponding decline in the number of new teachers earning bachelor’s degrees in education from traditional educator preparation programs, according to a new study from the National Center for Research on Education Access and Choice (REACH). Researchers Doug Harris, the national director of REACH, and Mary Penn, a research partner at the center, found that for every 10% increase in charter school enrollment...

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Many NC school districts face funding shortages in serving students with special needs

Student exoduses to homeschools and private schools, combined with impacts of low salaries and inflation are leaving local school systems in a bind The public school system in Chatham County in an “OK spot” financially to meet the needs of the more than 1,200 children it serves in its exceptional children program, says Amanda Moran, assistant superintendent for academic services and instructional support. Those students in the exceptional children program make up roughly 13.5% of the district’s nearly 9,000 students.

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Monday numbers: A closer look at the effort to get more women into STEM fields

“When I talk to CEOs, the top three issues are workforce, workforce and workforce," Gov. Roy Cooper recently told a group of business and technology leaders gathered at the SAS headquarters in Cary. While the state sees advanced manufacturing as a primary driver of its economic future, many wonder if the North Carolina will have the skilled and diverse talent pool to fill those jobs. It's estimated that there are currently 800,000 open jobs in the manufacturing sector, according to the National Association of Manufacturers.

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Monday numbers: A closer look at the academic performance of North Carolina’s charter schools

Last month, school accountability data from 2020-21 showed lower graduation rates, lower rates of proficiency on state tests and more schools designated as ...
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Legislative committee hears from national expert on building and keeping a strong, diverse teacher workforce

Lowering standards to attract people of color to the teaching profession is bad policy, a national education expert told state lawmakers on Monday. Heather Peske, president of the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), said that relaxing standards for passing licensure exams “perpetuates the myth that racial diversity is equivalent to less skill.”

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Experts say better pay, student loan debt relief are keys to diversifying state’s teacher workforce

Jayden Seay, a sophomore education major at North Carolina A&T University, didn’t need any arm-twisting to decide to become a teacher. His dream of teaching started long ago while attending K-12 schools in Woodbridge, Virginia, Seay told an audience welcoming First Lady Jill Biden to the campus earlier this month.

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Monday numbers: Alarming levels of lead in drinking water at UNC-Chapel Hill

Last month, UNC-Chapel Hill detected lead in the water coming from the drinking fountains in the campus’ Wilson Library. After removing the fountains and expanding testing, this month the university has documented lead in fountains and sinks from a half-dozen campus buildings.

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Monday numbers: A closer look at the success of one of NC’s HBCUs

Despite being historically underfunded and cheated out of proper allocations as land grant universities, North Carolina’s historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have announced record-breaking enrollment, donations, expanding programs and campuses in the last two years. Elizabeth City State University - the smallest of the UNC System’s HBCUs -  - has seen a recent series of big announcements as it continues to recover from an enrollment slump, grow its programs and offerings and attract new students from North Carolina and beyond.

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Payroll system switch shortchanges hundreds of teachers, leads to finger-pointing by state and local officials

State lawmakers aware of the erroneous deductions in March Bobbie Cavnar, a Gaston County Schools high school English teacher, was shocked last month when his paystub showed $1,600 worth of unexplained deductions. Fortunately for the 2016-17 North Carolina Teacher of the Year, his spouse works, and the couple could transfer money from savings to cover monthly bills.

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UNC-Chapel Hill faculty members pass resolution as tensions continue over free speech

Faculty members at UNC Chapel Hill have often spoken their minds – but in some cases, they have done so at their own peril. Political appointees on the UNC Board of Governors have targeted academic centers whose work they oppose. They have allegedly meddled in faculty hiring decisions for political reasons.

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Education Top Story

U.S. education secretary urges boost in teacher pay, touts college debt relief

First Lady Jill Biden will accompany Sec. Miguel Cardona to NC next week as part of "Road to Success Back to School Bus Tour" WASHINGTON — Amid K-12 teacher shortages, book bans and attacks over critical race theory, U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona at a meeting with reporters on Wednesday stressed the need for higher salaries to attract prospective educators to the profession.

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Higher Ed News Top Story

Panel to examine free speech, self-censorship at UNC

Like many colleges and university systems across the country, UNC has long been embroiled in a debate about free speech on campuses. In a politically volatile era in which extremist views have gone mainstream, the extent of free speech disagreements at UNC campuses is unclear, as are potential solutions. On Sept 13, UNC-Chapel Hill’s Program for Public Discourse will hold the university’s first student-centered discussion on the issue. ”Can We Talk? Student Thoughts on Free Expression at UNC,” was sparked by a series of surveys about free speech — surveys that themselves have become controversial.

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